A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Stan Hieronymus -

Alan - Have I mentioned that I'm wondering if your little "Are you human?" questions know me. Friday "journalist" was one of my words and later our daughter's name came up.

So far no "erway" though. But, to answer your question, that is his surname.

And, last I knew, you could get Port Brewing's Old Viscosity at beerbistro.

Alan -

Excellent. I will have to check next time I am in downtown Toronto but, unfortunately, that may be many a moon from now. I am in Michigan in two weeks and need to hunt out some beer shops there for the 24 hours I have at my disposal for Mid-west beer shopping this year.

Alan -

<i>...I love the information on the Smuttynose website. But for a brewer to give full disclosure of their costs could really hurt their business...</i><p>Great comments! You know what my immediate reaction to this line I am quoting is? If that were true, then I think brewing is not an art at all. If it is the individual expression of the brewer that is in there that makes these new high end brews worthy, then it would not matter if they list costs and ingredients because, as I understand the beer=art argument, it is all about technique. <p>I could sit and watch Picasso paint but that would not make me Picasso.

Alan -

And Tomme has followed up at the BA with a longish comment that is well worth reading.

Keith Brainard -

I was more referring to the totality of costs, way beyond just the ingredients. Part of the cost of beer is the malt and hops and other raw materials. But there are also costs such as energy, rent, salaries, insurance, etc. etc. All of these are part of the cost of the beer (or any product) in some way.

I totally agree that brewing is an art. Even for more common beers, the brewing of those beers is at least part art. This is part of the reason that we can have homebrew clone recipes and it doesn't erode sales of the brewers of the original beer. Echoing your Picasso sentiment, just because I have a step-by-step of how to make a particular beer doesn't mean I can make it just like the original brewer.

Stan Hieronymus -

Hi Alan -

In your reply to Tomme's post at BA you wrote: "What I was responding to was the commentary triggered by Lew, Stan and Stephen discussing your beers as well as others in the new price range and how the market should bear whatever the consumer will pay."

I will admit that the two threads have reached the length I'm not going to scour them for the phrase that the <i>market should bear whatever the consumer will pay.</i>

I'm pretty sure I never wrote that. I think there are some beers we should pay more. A lot of the $7-$8 6 packs and some of the higher priced beers. Not because that is what the consumer will pay, but because it is a fair price.

And I agree there are beers that are not worth the price on the bottle. A lot of these are in $6-$12 large format bottles. They may be justified based on the amount of ingredients, labor and time involved but you can't taste the difference. Or worse, you can and it is bad.

I think we should pay for the difference we can taste, but there isn't a formula we can plug a bunch of numbers in to and come out with the proper price. Part of it is personal - like if I'm saving up $60 to buy a pretty bottle of vodka.

Alan -

It's not so much what you said as what you three, in the early posts that triggered all this, did not yet get the opportunity to elaborate - which I was merely helping with!

I think we have sussed out that there is a definite price sensitivity to craft beer and the new range of prices does have to justify itself, not just be subject to pure market force. If you want my 20 bucks for a single bottle, I want more back story than a nice corked presentation. Consumer oriented brewers will have the story because it will be true.